Unformatted text preview: Evolutionary Cognitive Psychology: The Social Brain Theory of Mind
Theory of Mind: FalseBelief Task Where will Sally look for marble when she returns? (See next slide) Used to predict and explain human behavior before 4 yrs of age
"he wanted to. . ." "he intended to. ." Developing a Theory of Mind Attentive parents Joint attention Pretend play Imitation Social experiences Talking about mental states Sensitivity to feelings of others A description of BaronCohen's "Mindreading" and "Empathizing" systems of theory of mind The Mindreading System Intentionality Detector (ID) interprets moving objects as having some volition or intention. Develops by 9months. EyeDirection Detector (EDD) detects the presence of eyes or eye like stimuli, determines whether the eyes are looking toward it or toward something else, and infers that if an organism's eyes are looking at something, then that organism sees that thing. Develops by 9months. The Mindreading System
SharedAttention Mechanism (SAM) involves triadic (threeway) interactions or representations, such as those that babies and their parents engage in during joint attention episodes. Develops between 9 and 18 months.
Theory of Mind Module (ToMM) roughly equivalent to the beliefdesire reasoning and is reflected by passing false belief tasks. Develops between 24 and 48 months. The Empathizing System
The Emotion Detector (TED) represents affective, or emotional, states between two people. Develops by 9months
The Empathizing SyStem (TESS) permits an empathetic reaction of another person's emotions and assumes that there is an associated drive to help other people. Develops by 14 months. Intentional Persistence The human propensity for attributing particular mental state functions and intentions to nonconscious agents Seen especially in children's tendency to attribute intent to inanimate objects (animism) E.g., At breakfast on a cloudy day, Carla's mother asked her, "Why do you think the sun's not out today?" Carla replied, "Because it's mad. Children practice promiscuous teleology everything has a purpose/function Deborah Kelleman Afterlife Beliefs Afterlife beliefs are universal Are they based on implicit knowledge? Is there a universal ontogeny? Are there sensitive periods and childinitiated activities? Are the cognitions underlying afterlife beliefs hierarchic in nature? The Natural Emergence of `Afterlife' Reasoning with Jesse Bering & Carlos Hernndez Blasi Preschoolers, 10/11year olds; adults View puppet show of anthropomorphized mouse getting eaten by alligator Participants asked series of questions about the continuity of biological, psychobiological, and psychological functioning Discontinuity response: function stops after death Explanations for Events Declarative agentive (e.g., "Princess Alice did it because she was trying to help me find the ball") Intentional agentive (e.g., "Princess Alice did it, but I don't know why") Other (physical, another person, no explanation) Age group comparison of agentive explanatory types. % Agentive Type .
No Explanation Intentional Explanation Declarative Explanation 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 3- to 4-year-olds 5- to 6-year-olds 7- to 9-year-olds Age Group The Proximate Question: Developmental Systems Developmental Systems Developmental Effects Caspi et al., 2002 monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) associated with antisocial behavior in rats and humans Gene on X chromosome controls MAOA (high versus low levels) Examined antisocial behavior in boys with high and low levels of MAOA as function of childhood maltreatment Relationship between childhood maltreatment (none, probable, severe) and MAOA activity (low versus high) on antisocial behavior. 1.25 Composite Index of Antisocial Behavior 1 0.75 0.5 0.25 0 -0.25 -0.5 None Probable Severe Childhood Maltreatment Low MAOA Activity High MAOA Activity How Behavior Can Initiate Evolutionary Change Most adult humans (those of European stock are largely an exception) find the sugar in milk, called lactose, indigestible. The gene for lactase, the enzyme that breaks lactose down, is normally switched off as children are weaned. Groups of humans that raise cattle also tended to be the same ones that could drink milk as adults The mutation arose between 3,000 and 7,000 years ago -- a blink of an eye in evolutionary time. There's a single gene involved, with different mutations in different parts of the world having similar effects. Lactose Tolerance in Kenya and Sudan Recent Human Changes Final Words Humans survive (and adapt) within a social/cultural context Humans have a large brain and require a long time to develop to deal with social complexity Specific & higher level abilities may emerge from general learning and processing mechanisms Interaction across different levels of organization produces evolutionary change We (humans) are continually evolving ...
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- Spring '08
- Psychology, Monoamine oxidase, evolutionary cognitive psychology, Princess Alice